The man who translated for me that day [in Poland] was an extremely educated [Pole], a scientist, and I could tell he was having a hard time staying focused. Several times I looked over at him and saw tears in the corners of his eyes. He did his best to stay composed, but as I told the story of my mother’s [deathbed conversion], we had to stop. He bent over and began crying uncontrollably. It was an awkward moment, and I wasn’t sure what to do.
I took a step toward him and placed my hand on his shoulder. ‘Are you okay?’ I asked. He said to me, ‘I’ve never heard such a story of forgiveness before. I’m sorry, Nicky. I’ll be all right in a minute.’
The stadium grew deathly quiet. People were so moved by the interpreter’s response that many started crying. It was the first time I can remember having to stop a service so that the translator could compose himself. His response so touched my heart that I started crying with him. We stood on the stage in silence. After a few minutes I patted him on the back and whispered, ‘We need to finish. Will you be okay to go on?’ He wiped his eyes and nodded, then continued translating.
I invited people to come forward and accept Jesus, and no one was prepared for the response. Like a tidal wave, the Spirit of the Lord crashed upon the crowd, bringing people to conviction. The translator’s brokenness had resonated with the crowd.
I later went with him to the park to talk. I couldn’t believe what a sweet, genuine person he was, so gentle and warm. A godly man. He told me how much he loved the Lord and how hard it was to live in Poland under the persecution of the government. At one point he grew quiet and motioned toward the KGB agents following us. ‘That’s why I can’t talk to you much,’ he whispered. ‘I can never share what’s really on my heart.’
Before I left Poland, two of the KGB agents approached me to talk about the Lord. I was surprised that they
came to me in public, but they wanted to know more about Jesus, so I told them. Right in the open I prayed with them and led them to salvation. I’ll never forget how excited they were. ‘Thank you,’ they kept telling me.
From chapter 9 of Soul Obsession, published by Waterbrook Press 2005